Morgan: 60-40

Roy Morgan has caused a disturbance in the force by releasing its weekly poll a day early, perhaps hoping to strike while the Strippergate iron is lukewarm. Conducted over the last two evenings, the phone poll of 633 voters shows an intriguingly strong result for Labor, whose lead has widened to 60-40 from 58.5-41.5 at the last comparable poll a fortnight ago. Separately published leadership approval figures are remarkable enough to raise suspicions about the sample: the Prime Minister’s approval rating is at its lowest level since he was elected, his disapproval rating (up nine to 51 per cent) shooting past his approval rating (down nine to 44 per cent), while Kevin Rudd’s approval rating has reached a Bob Hawkeian 74 per cent (up 2 per cent). Rudd’s lead as preferred prime minister has widened from 51-44 to 52-38, and 87 per cent of respondents profess them unconcerned about the incident in New York.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

336 comments on “Morgan: 60-40”

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  1. I think one of the interesting dynamics is that as Howard is clearly playing for the win and not an honerable defeat (as did Beasley in 2001).

    In my opinion it is this aggresive game plan, attacking the states, wedges everywhere, monumetally shallow policy on wiff of a sweaty focus group is exactly what could lead to the rout scenario.

    In order to win Howard is flirting with the destruction of his party.

  2. [To me this explains why a party polling 55+ all year can be only lukewarm favorites with the bookies.]

    You are crazy! If it is 55 on election day, Labor will win about 95 seats.

  3. Simon,

    Oh no doubt a 55+ 2pp on election day would be the rout scenario and it is a genuine possibility.

    I was making the point that by defending a few key marginal with pork the tories could survive something like a 52% 2pp to the ALP.

    It still means they have to find the extra 3% between now and the election. This task is feasbile but not the most likely outcome.

  4. True Glen. Given the way that marginal seat and Liberal safe seat polling has been going, 55 could quite possibly yield more than that.

  5. Howard is like the gambler who keeps doubling his bet until he wins or runs out of money.

    In hindsight Howard would have been better served in running a decent government with none of his crap since January. He may have closed much of the gap by now. But he just keeps alienating people.

    The Burke extravoganza really turned people off i think. Not to mention the stuborness on Hicks.

    Galaxy next week. 52/48 is my bet as that shows Howard really doing a good job [unless howard wants to retire then it might show 55/45]; but who knows what relevance of the Galaxy. You dont have to lie with your polls, just be careless with the places you choose to sample.

  6. [You are assuming the swings would be uniform…they generally arent..]

    No, I am assuming that 55/45 would be an average. If that is the case the ALP would win about 95 seats, maybe more, maybe less, but about 95.

    [I was making the point that by defending a few key marginal with pork the tories could survive something like a 52% 2pp to the ALP.]

    Even this is unlikely. If Rudd gets 52 on election day he would most likely win. They need to keep him below 51.7 to most likely win.

    You need to take into account the ALPs biggest swings are in government safe seats. They are getting swings there of over 10%, they are getting 7 – 8% in the marginals too.

    This means the government needs another 4 or 5% 2pp. Which is the lead the ALP have built up over the last 2 years. The government needs to reverse that in about 8 weeks. It is unlikely at this stage unless there is a serious terrorist attack, or share market crash, or something equally catastrophic.
    [Galaxy next week. 52/48 is my bet as that shows Howard really doing a good job]

    This would be an excellent result for Howard, and would signify a significant shift. My feeling is it is more likely to be 54/46, i.e. no change since the last one. If it is 56/44 then Howard would seriously consider resigning.

  7. Glen, I reckon Antony Green’s head will explode on election night – along with his precious computer – when he realises all his precious polls and stats mean absolutely zilch….

    And Malcolm Turnbull’s not going anywhere. The Libs’ own research has him in the mid 40s and Labor in the low 30s. That leaked Labor polling is useless.

  8. And now the greatest seer of all proclaimeth their edict.

    That poll in Wentworth was from the Labor party’s research TWO MONTHS ago. You’d need to be severely mentally challenged to believe it. Similarly, this Morgan poll is a rogue.

    I think you all know that Galaxy was the most accurate pollster in 2004 and Morgan the least accurate. Trying the paint the former as biassed to the right is simply delusional. Howard is going to win the election for a REASON.

  9. Nostrils, you are waxing almost biblical tonight. Isn’t it wonderful to be Exclusive, Bretheren?

    OK, William, I know, I know….

  10. If the Libs lose its of their own making in 2004 – no mention of Workchoices in their election campaign and all it did was reinforce the perception of them as liars – to go with AWB, Tampa, Iraq etc. Yes, we know all politicians lie but this government has turned it into an art form.

    The other thing is this government accepts no responsibility for anything – always someone else fault and unless its good news then Howard is out there. Howard is the good news PM and frankly people have had a gutful. Plus he won’t say the “s” word.

    Politics is all about perception and Rudd is seen as safe and a good bloke and thats why he will be elected PM.

    To Glen and Co – you can say what you like about polls but it is the trends which have shown consistently since Dec 2006 that the ALP is polling around 54-55 2PP. Thats the problem for Howard, it is consistent and every month or so, the ALP brings out another policy and reaffirms that they are on the front foot. Shows they are ready for goverment and people are accepting of that whilst all Howard is doing is reinforcing that he is trying to safe his bacon (Mercy Hospital in Devonport).

    Even a couple of people I know who are Lib voters (who have voted Lib each election since the mid 80’s) all say this government has run out of ideas and it is time to go. Now that has got to be worrying.

  11. Just another thing, what experience did Costello have before coming the Treasurer – Nil. And Howard as PM – Nil (lets forget about his Treasurer record). If you need experience we would never change governments. Its a ridiculous proposition put forward by the incumbent.

  12. Trevor,

    If Howard loses the election then Glen and co are going to move to Zimbabwe as they’ve heard it’s leader has lots of experience. If that doesn’t work there’s always North Korea.

  13. Or Cuba.

    I find that argument quite ridiculous as well. This implies that we should stop our elections right now, because all of the people in their current seats have the experience, their challengers don’t, and therefore shouldn’t be running against them. Complete and utter bull.


    Funny how you IGNORED my challenge way back at posting 55 on this stream where I Wrote to you —

    @ 55
    Please, just for once, have a balanced, reasonable ‘crack’ at explaining why this poll (putting aside your biases if you can against Morgan and any other negative result for the Coalition) says 60-40 Glen.

    No sprays about this or that fault in Rudd and/or the ALP, no ‘leftard’ attacks, just a simple opinion (balanced please) on what you think may be behind this 60-40 result. You just can’t do it can you…give it a try.


    Oh I see, because its MORGAN you say its baseless and a small sample. I wonder if that is what you say when NEWSPOLL or GALAXY or AC NEILSEN or WESTPOLL put out a result you don’t like ?

    Oh, I remember now, you completely ignore the POLL result and turn this blogspace into a debate about policy or Rudd being inexperienced or anything you can imagine to deflect your attention and others away from THE POLLS and a sound analysis of what might be driving them in one direction or another. You know, psephelogy !!

    since 55, you have contributed absolutely nothing to explaining or commenting on why the poll reads 60-40 except to repeat you crap about it being an small sample, blah blah at 178



  15. Strop,
    firstly my apologies as I am guilty of feeding the beast and wasting space here- It’s just a bit hard to resist at times. However I am serious in my question re: if the election really goes the way the polls are showing, and these trends continue or even plateau at the current levels who the F will be in opposition?
    And what could change these trends (barring terrorism etc) if they are based on a general tiredness with the incumbent? Surely that will just increase as the government members continue to look more and more desperate and incompetent. They’ve tried Hockey, Abbott, Downer . Who’s this weeks star I wonder: Bronwyn Bishop?

  16. 27
    Steven Kaye Says:

    August 23rd, 2007 at 6:38 pm
    Ouch – you know your shiny new health policy is DOA when even your biggest media booster runs this headline: “AMA says Rudd’s hospital plan flawed.” – ABC news online.

    Let’s wait a couple of weeks and see what the electorate have to say in the polls in 2 weeks time before we go claiming Rudds’ hospital plan is DOA Steven.

    Your selective hearing and vision persists, idiotic comments flow from them. Wake up and get your hand off your Johnny Howard love doll, please.

    Maybe the last line should read:
    Wake up and get your hand off your Johnny…

  17. Re: Nostradamus at 262
    “Howard is going to win the election for a REASON.”

    Don’t you mean Textor is going to win the election?

    We all know who’s in charge of the direction of the Liberal Party don’t we?

    The only reason I can extract from your post is that Morgan polls are biased and rogue. That’s the best explanation I’ve heard yet though, I do have to admit.

  18. Nostro(back from the dead), Glen, Steven, what do you think about the WickapediaGATE scandle? where public servants in the military, PM’s office, etc. try to rewrite history??
    What do you know and when did you know it??

  19. Also…
    has it ever happened that poll results showing a lead like these for such a long period of time now were wrong?
    I remember when Kennett got trounced in Victoria the polls did not indicate that at all – in fact the opposite. so is it still on the cards that God forbid, this disgraceful bunch could be reelected with no warning in the lead up polls. Or would there have to be some shift back showing first (so we could prepare to immigrate.)

  20. In Victoria in 1999 the polls (at least the ones in the final week) did get pretty close to the final result – it’s just that no-one took any notice of them.

  21. Thanks Blair – i didn’t realise that. I remember hearing that the Hun had its banners already to go announcing Landslide to Kennett. Obviously they didn’t look at their own polls!

  22. Jen, the polls mostly over estimated the governments lead in the lastest NSW state election to. So maybe the federal govt are worst off than we think 🙂
    (by the way,I think you’ll be emmigrating not immigrating)

  23. Timbo –
    however you spell it I’ll be out of here!!!
    Pi – ijust read the interview with Jeffry – such delicious irony. One camn only hope that the average punter shows the good sense that they did in ’99.
    Which reiterates my earlier point that the economy is not everything despite current political wisdom , and sometimes voters just don’t like the guy anymore, as Paul Keating found out. Therefore even though there is a long way to go on this one, is it possible to turn aroung plain old boredom and disinterest, or is it as fatal as in any other relationship?

  24. Jen, the period between the 1990 and 1993 elections had the then opposition miles in front – by similar margins to today.However in the 5 months before the 93 election, the gap had narrowed considerably to only be a couple of points and eventually to fall to labor in the election campaign.Nothing like this enormous gap this close to the polls has occurred over the 21 and a bit year history of Newspolls.

  25. Possum –
    thanks for that wonderful piece of information. And to the others who have responded to my q’s. I am new at this stuff and really interested so forgive my ignorance if I ask obvious questions. The next one being, if all goes as it appears at this stage and Labor was elected with the current swings, or even a slight swing back to the libs, who really would be left as the opposition?

  26. “Captan Smerk” being defended by our Defence Department from over 5,000 viscious attacks on Wickapedia. That’s a lot of over-time, Nostro, Glen, Stevan K,….. can’t hear you.
    Maby it’s their bedtime, or Megaphone type spinners have pulled the plug.

  27. I’m of two minds about whether a rump Liberal opposition composed of fanatical extremists is a problem or not.

    The extremists will have energy to devote to the cause, while the moderates may not.

    But they will be unelectable – imagine Andrew Hawke as opposition leader. Ideological purity will trump reality.

    And I’m disappointed Al-Taouk didn’t get a run in the Shire – would have been fun to watch the ALP siht-sheeting against him and inflaming anti-Leb sentiment. Would the Shiries back the Lebanese, when only 2 years earlier they were screaming kill them.

  28. Jen, if we use the last Newspoll quarterly data breakdown to give an idea of the “types” of seats that would fall, here’s a good list:

    If you click on the link at the bottom and go to part 2, that will give you a rough idea of the actual seats that would most likely fall (although clearly there would be seats that wouldnt – seats like Hughes and Kooyong for instance, but these are the seats that Newspoll suggest would fall according to their marginal seat status, their capital vs non capital city status, the state they’re in etc)

    If you want a simpler list, over at Crikey they’ve got a list of members that would go should the primary vote swing occur as the quarterly newspolls suggest based on state weightings:

    But remember, these are more fun than real.

  29. Thanks Possum .
    I notice our revered PM is not on the list – i thought Maxine was a genuine threat currently – is it just that these lists are becoming out of date or is there some other reason?

  30. There were remarks earlier about Medicare Gold. Is there any evidence that it turned voters off?

    Curiously enough, the Fin Review has come out in support of Rudd’s health policy. Take away their ideological stoush over IR, and you’d see both The Oz and the Fin – the most conservative (in a neo-liberal policy sense) journals in the land – advocating a vote for Rudd Labor come election day. Remarkable.

  31. Much has been made of the big swings that will be required if Labor is to get the 16 seats it needs.

    At the last election, of the 150 seats there were swings of four per cent or more in 36 electorates – or about a quarter of all of them.

    The biggest swings (excluding independent-held seats) were:

    Canning (9.2 p/c)
    Braddon (7.1 p/c)
    Aston (7.1 pc/)
    Calwell (7 p/c)
    Holt (6.4 p/c)
    Pearce (6.1 p/c)
    Bowman (6.1 p/c)
    Mariybrnong (6 p/c)
    Forde (6 p/c)
    Prospect (5.7 p.c)

  32. Jen, Bennelong and sometimes Wentworth dont make it onto the lists because of their relatively low ALP primary votes at the last election.Those lists were constructed by first calculating an ALP swing for each seat, then applying that swing to the ALP vote in those seats at the 2004 election.

    Where you had strong third party candidates like King in Wentworth and Wilkie in Bennelong, it reduced the ALP vote, hence the swings were applied to a low ALP vote level.Suffice to say, if you remove those third party effects from those two seats, they would certainly be way up the list.

  33. So there’s a real possibility, especially with preference flows from the Greens to Labor that the Prime Minister will actually lose his seat at the federal election…?
    This is sooooo fantastic.

  34. Just a quick question – why does News Corporation have two polls? Why Newspoll for The Australian – why Galaxy for the tabloids?

    Any thoughts?

  35. ‘Poo bum dicky wee wee’ among PMC Wikipedia edits

    By staff writers and wires
    August 24, 2007 09:41am

    BIZARRE, obscure, and poorly spelt contributions are among Wikipedia edits traced to the Prime Minister’s department – with one simply stating: “Poo bum dicky wee wee”.

    Poo bum dicky wee wee – makes as much sense as Nostro and Glen’s posts.

  36. Good to see some normal discussion. Let’s all stop feeding the trolls. I won’t even refer to them as anything other than as trolls. The mindless trolling is just eating up bandwidth and everyone’s patience. Please do not respond to, or quote the trolls. Like a bad smell, they lack substance and they will eventually blow away.


  37. Apart from the Morgan Qld Senate poll released the other day, have there been any other poll releases from Qld in the last 6 weeks? Can’t recall any since the major Newspoll state-by-state/marginals results from which Possum’s “Pollycide” was born.

    From this latest Senate poll Labor has dropped 4% (to 40.5%) in July, from the very high Mar/Apr figure. Hanson has entered the fray since March (5%), but Libs/Nat has gone up 5.5% in the same time as well. I suspect the trend downward for Labor will continue (Qld tough for Labor), but the July number is still about 10% higher than the 2004 election.
    Still a great position for Labor for to be in 12/14 weeks out from the election.

  38. BxTom,

    Problem is it’s only the Trolls that are on Howard’s side so it’s going to be a one sided converstation if we ignore them. I used to vote Howard but until they return to their small “L” traditions I won’t vote for them again and I suspect many other Libs feel the same way.

  39. Chris writes: So my question is why isn’t Labor further ahead.

    Because 40% of the electorate will vote Liberal and 40% will vote Labor from the day they are born to the day they die.

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